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Old 09-01-2011, 11:27 PM   #1
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Default water damage up front

bought my 189fdr 2nd hand and after checking it out found the seam above the bed was loose. When i pulled on it it came right off and exposed the water damaged Lauan board. I pulled all the boards off and found the wood frame aorund the window and the back was rotted and the fiberglass insulation was soaking. After removing the wood and the fiberglass insulation, the wall (i think it is filon with some paper type of backing ) was soaked too. The paper stuff came right off leaving the filon (white rubbery stuff) so i removed to let it dry. I am starting to rebuild but can't figure out what this paper backing to the filon is and is there a special way to put it back on ?


Update Sep 6:

after a lot of work, found that this is how FunFinder keeps the weight down by laminating the front fiberglass to heavy paper. Unfortunately i think this contributed to the failure of the seals near the window and the two lights up front where a lot of the leak seemed to have started. Now working on rebuilding the whole front including some of the sides wheret he water leak seemed to have got in too. So need panesl, rebuild the wood frame around the window, remove all paper and clean the fiberglass and replace with lauan boards and of course recaulk everything.

Unit was originally sold to a dealer in Ontario who must have detetected the problem. Unless you really know what to look for, this would have gone unnoticed for years as the damage got worse. Of course the dealer then decides to sell it without repairing it. And I of course bought it from the guy who bought it from the dealer. A whole bunch of dishonest players in this. To me this will be a long project but one that i will not walk away and dump on a poor unsuspecting buyer.

So, please check the caulking around the windows up front, the lights and all the seams. I have time to work on this.


Final Update Sep 7:

Finally figured out what that paper looking stuff is, it is MDF and when wet simply disintigrate like paper.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:25 AM   #2
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Default Year of 189 trailer?

Brad, you do not say what year of manufacture your trailer is. I'm seeing numerous posts from folks with similar issues in trailers from 2008 and older when apparently Cruiser used more wood in the construction. But these seal/caulking issues apparently continue. Since we just got our new X214 WSD, I have looked at these caulk points and plan to remove and re-stall the lights. The Window does look good, thankfully!

I'd also like to applaud your attitude to do the 'right thing' in your repair and disclosure should you sell. It seems this attitude is becoming more and more scarce these days! Definitely does not seem to be the predominant attitude of most manufactures and dealers!

Good luck on your unplanned and frustrating project! May you have some enjoyable days in the trailer once you're done!
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:27 PM   #3
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It is 2006.

What makes me angry is that there appears to have been attempts to fix things but more like concealing them instead of correcting the problem.

I now have the whole front of the trailer off and started the repairs. A real pain of a job. Wood frame disintegrated, and lots of damage from years of neglect.

I found out the seller bought the unit just a year before he sold it to me. So i contacted the dealer who sold it to him. They say they are a family business and proud of their reputation. Well, obviously they're just another used car dealer and no respect for what they sell.

Anyway, on the way to repairing the unit, replaced the frames where i could and managed to get the panels. I am now testing the best adhesive for the MDF. Not sure I'm doing the right thing but we'll see. Its only time and my sweat.

So here are things to look out for. Caulk around the window, all around. Caulk around the lights and make sure you check them yealry. It seems the problem started right there. I suspect since it left the factory the unit started having problems. It took years to get in the shape i have it now.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:56 PM   #4
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Default Delayed repairs

Ah yes, I don't blame you! So sorry to hear that is your problem .. why in the world would they even consider using something like MDF where any moisture contact is not only possible but probable???? In my experience in other uses of MDF, the material is dense but no tensile strength and terribly susceptible to decomposition from moisture damage.

I do understand the neglect and cover up concern, but honestly, I've seen so many really, really bad 'repair' jobs on everything from a house, to cars/trucks to RVs, that it could even have been done by someone honestly thinking they were doing the right thing. I have a friend who just finished redoing 1/2 the front floor of his trailer (late 90's Prowler I think) because it was getting a bit 'mushy' and he found all kinds of similar issues.... and it was supposedly repaired under an insurance claim by the previous owner! It had been worked on, but water leaks not properly sealed, so the situation was repeated even worse.

Before jumping into the full job, have you contacted the technical or engineering folks at the factory? I've been on the line a few times already with them discussing various things and so far they have been very responsive and helpful. Worth a try any way, they might save you some frustration later? Good luck on the unwelcome project!
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:21 AM   #5
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I suspect the MDF was used because it is pliable, specially for the curves and very light. I am at the point where i have to decide to use MDF or 1/8" plywood. Also still trying to figure out the adhesive to use.

Did you actually get to talk to the tech and Eng people at Fun Finder? If so, can you send me their contact I would love to talk to them before I start putting things back in place.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:09 PM   #6
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Default Cruiser Tech line.... Great resource

Brad, so sorry I failed to see this! Hopefully you made some contact on this .. and got your issues resolved prior to re-assembly?

To talk to Technicians, I just call them at 260-562-1075 and request a technician. There are 2 guys I've talked to, both very helpful. If you get voice mail, just leave a message .. they have called back reasonably quickly and I think really do their best to get a good and responsible answer.

I've determined that before I take the TT back for more warranty issues, I'm going to call and discuss major items with technicians so that I have as good or better knowledge than the Service folks at the dealership. I know that when something comes up, they try to just jump on things and get 'er done .. but that does not mean it is being done right per the factory and/or design!

However, I don't know that the techs always have the right answer at first. I could not get an answer before we left on our first trip on how the slider operates if the motors or controller act up. Dealer techs had NO clue .. I got an answer from the techs at Cruiser and accepted it. But I tried it the other day here and it doesn't work as they indicated .... good thing that we didn't have any problems with the unit. So I have to call them again and I know they will find out from the engineers if necessary.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:10 AM   #7
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Thanx, but I don't think these guys can help me.

After removing the front of the trailer and analyzing the problem i determined the that the design itself is faulty. All they can tell me is how to bring it back to its original condition, which is no good anyway.
The design fault is having the window on the fron of the trailer. The window is too heavy and will vibrate during transport which will berak the seals and allow water in. So we have redeigned the fron and fixed the problem by not putting the window back. I am also not using their design for lamintaing the Filon on MDF, wow, what were they thinking of. I used 1/8" plywood, (very difficult to find and expensive) and lamintaed the Filon onto to without the window opening. Also removed the lights from the top front and replaced them with reflectors.

Hopefully that will correct the problem and stop the water from coming in when travelling.

All in all, I think this is a bad trailer and Funfinder should not be selling them. However, not sure what else is on the market that is any better. I do recommend for all those looking to buy, one , do not purchase Funfinder cruiser trailers, two, pick a triler that does not have a window up front, the vibrations will break the seal which will ultimately allow water to get int the trailer, finally, pick a aluminum not Filon, cheaper and much to fix.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:11 PM   #8
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This problem with leaks up front is an issue that wont go away. We bought a 2011 ff 189fds last Feb and we have the same problem with leaks up fromt due to the front marker lights not being sealed property. with in 3 weeks of taking the trailer home I found bouth lights full of water. I agree, people should stay away from ff trailers, they are crap. Salty
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:19 AM   #9
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We recently traded in our 2005 T139 FF that started showing major delamination issues this summer.. All was good until a trip in the heat of summer caused the front end to literally disintegrate.........

Don't know what was leaking or how long it had leaked but it ruined the trailer...... Bought an aluminum sided rig....
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:31 PM   #10
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Whether you buy Fibergalss or Aluminum I think the problem still remains with the wind as you tow the rig. I asked a friend who is an engineer and works in a wind tunnel lab at the airport and he agreed that the effect of the wind will eventually break the seals which will allow the water in. With FF the trailer is already built with one thing in mind, keep it light. So the material used would not stand the pressure of the wind hitting the front during towing.
Also, since they use these flimsy metal trims on the sides, they will break down too. The best solution is a solid Aluminum front with brackets that overlap at least 6" from front to side, just like utility trailer are built. Anyway, my rig is now stored away for the winter and when it comes out again next summer I will again redo it. I will throw away the Filon fiberglass front, the flimsy trims and replace them with Aluminum trims that wrap around.
I plan to keep the Fun finder logo but will move the X to the front, so mine will be called, X Fun Finder......
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #11
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Any update to this thread. I have the same issue and like a DIY.
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:37 PM   #12
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Brad, I have to say thanks so much for this thread you started. I have the same issue, but I'm in Lake Havasu City, AZ, so it rarely rains, and normally only during August, and it's so hot everything dries out fast. However, I have pretty bad water damage from the caulking never being redone (front only). A local company here in town said they repair this Filon stuff a lot. They gave me a price of $1,200 to strip, fix and reskin. I'm not a DIY'er except with sewing, so I'd rather drop the $$ than leave it or drop even more money in buying a new trailer. Even R-Pods don't come in 14' anymore, so these tinier trailers are starting to be real hard to get ones hands on.

But with this thread, I now know (1) do not put the front window back in, and (2) have them use aluminum on the front instead of Filon crap. If you have any other suggestions for me, please let me know. Also, for others' info, I'll post some photos of what it looks like behind the shell so others tackling the same issue can get an idea of what's inside.

Here is my original thread with the original water damage. The trailer has since been totally re-sealed/re-caulked and I've had no new water problems since.

http://www.funfinderclub.com/forums/...help-2043.html

And I only travel with it no more than an hour's towing time (Havasu to Parker and back), so hopefully the wind issue won't ever be a problem for me.
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